Weekend Wrap Up

It’s Tuesday but it feels like Wednesday. Boy is this week flying by! My husband’s best friend, Charles, visited over the weekend. We ate A LOT of food, starting with Queen City Q for barbecue on Friday. Since we had just been there the week before, I opted for wings this time. Wings are my weakness. Actually, anything with buffalo sauce is my weakness. I could live off of bland foods dipped in buffalo sauce.

IMG_6659Our friends Enrique and Urmie who recently moved to Charlotte, joined us for dinner and the Hornets game. We were in row A and I can’t say enough how much I love not having people sitting in front of me (now only if I could also not have them behind me!). We spied Michael Jordan from our seats.

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Even after having him here in Charlotte for several years now, it’s still pretty awesome to see him live at the games. The game was a thriller, with the Hornets winning in double overtime, with a last minute 3-point shot by Lance Stephenson.

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On Saturday, I had to get in my run to stay on track with my training for Key West. I decided to take it outdoors since the weather was next to perfect.  I have no idea what happened on mile 3, but other than that, I had a pretty good pace.

IMG_6352I had some pretty awesome scenery on my run, too. Fall is amazing for running. I am dreading winter long runs with bare trees and grey skies. But hey, at least it’s not snowing yet!

IMG_6707Saturday evening, we introduced Charles to NoDa Brewing and Birdsong. Being the wonderful groomsman and friend that he is, he remembered that he had Birdsong’s Jalapeño Pale Ale before our wedding and that we served Olde Mecklenburg Copper at our wedding.

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We love Charlotte’s craft beer scene, although I will say that we were disappointed this weekend to hear of NoDa’s new location that will be on North Tryon, and no longer in walking distance for us. We had dinner at Basil, which is one of our favorite Thai restaurants. The guys decided to watch the Alabama/LSU game on Saturday evening and I was apparently exhausted from the day, so I went to bed at 8:45. We constantly have the debate over whether or not I get TOO much sleep. I still say that’s not possible.

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Charles headed out after a very filling breakfast at Zada Janes. It was delicious but holy cow, those portions are GIGANTIC! I picked up our foster dog Daisy on Monday and brought her back to our house for the week. She’s a small lab/beagle mix at 45 lbs. She is the cuddliest, sweetest pup who just wants to be loved. I don’t think she was given a lot of positive attention in her last home. She has already met her forever family and will be going to live with them on Friday. I can’t say enough good things about Lucky Labs Rescue here in Charlotte. They are amazing to work with and we’ve loved both of our fosters from there. I highly recommend checking out the labs they have available if you’re in the market for a furever friend, or filling out an application if you don’t see one that works. They are great about working to find out what kind of dog you want and finding matches. Yay for Daisy and her forever home. Fostering is also a great way to check out dogs and see how they fit in your home. So happy for you, sweet girl!

Get Friendly!

One of our goals this year was to make more friends and do more with the friends we already have. It might sound silly but once you’re outside of college (and grad school), it’s rare that you’re in social settings with tons of people who are your age and share similar interests with you – so making new friends can be a little tougher than it sounds. As far as the “doing more”, well, we (and I’m sure we’re not alone in this) have a bad habit of doing things with just the two of us. And while we love doing things as a couple, sometimes while we’re out and about (at a museum, at a park, hiking, etc.) we think, “man, so and so would probably like to do this, too!”

We said that we wouldn’t said “no” if asked to do something. We haven’t help completely true to that, but we’ve definitely been better (and even given up our 9:30 bedtime!). Recently, I emailed a group of friends to see who would be interested in starting a book club. Surprisingly, everyone said they were in and had always wanted to be part of a book club. We had about 12 people for our first meeting a few weeks ago and we read The Book Thief. We plan to rotate houses each month to as not to overwhelm any one host, and to give everyone a chance to put their own spin on the evening. It was fun to discuss the book, but also so nice to spend time with friends and meet new friends, too!

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This past weekend, we hosted “Drinktoberfest” instead of going to the Oktoberfest event here in Charlotte. We invited over our friends + their kids (and my brother’s family) to hang out, enjoy bratwursts, drink some pumpkin beer and play corn hole. The kids had a blast running around and playing with their Tonka trucks and the adults enjoyed catching up. It’s so nice to have a backyard where we can do these kinds of things!

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I’ve recently said “yes” when asked to go to Yoga on Tap at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery but someone I only knew online (no worries, we had plenty of friends in common and went to the same university for undergrad). And I had a blast, even though I’m far from being a yogi and was there with practical strangers.

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And made 3 new friends at NoDa Brewery run club (also gals I only knew online up until that 3 mile run). And I’ve also said yes to 3 miles with my friends Valerie and Katie. Friends and fitness? That’s right up my alley!
photo 3 photo.PNG-2 photo.PNGA group of grad school friends got together one night to hang out and catch up at Heist Brewery. These folks inspire me with their lives and the work they’re doing. I miss being in class with them and having 3 hours of intellectual conversations (or at least having them make me laugh all through class).

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Our fun friend Stacy joined us for Science on the Rocks at Discovery Place. A night where adults get to run the place, while drinking fun things like liquid nitrogen wine slushies. Oh, and it was 90s night!

photo 2Last time I was in the triangle area, I got to sit down for coffee with my most favorite college roomie and BFF. I had recently blogged about it being 2 whole months since I had seen her, but she’s the kind of friend where we can literally not speak for weeks and pick right back up where we left off. Most of the time we don’t go weeks without speaking, we send each other silly texts on the regular. I was pretty sure we were going to get asked to join a sorority while we were walking through Chapel Hill since it was apparently rush time for UNC.

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I feel like I have a pretty good friend base (even if they are all having babies and we’re the no-kid family). Not to say that I couldn’t have more. And not to say I don’t miss my friends who chose to remove themselves from my life just before my wedding. I’ve recently talked with a few of them, which was nice but it’s clear that things will never be the same. How could they? No need to re-hash the story here, if you want to read it, you can find it somewhere back in January 2013’s posts; we all made decisions that ended our friendship.

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It’s hard losing friends at any age, but I think probably harder to lose friends that you’ve had for so long and thought you’d have forever. I never really let myself get upset over it, I think I was so stunned that they just left. But now I see that we won’t go to anymore weddings together, we won’t watch each other’s kids grow up, we won’t plan summer beach trips together or ring in the new year together. Birthdays will only be celebrated with some, and only through text messages. Grad school graduations won’t be acknowledged. Rival football games won’t be mentioned. These things all make me a little sad. Those are things i expected to share with each of them. Occasionally, my husband will ask about one or all of them: have I talked to them, do I miss them, etc. The answer to the first is sometimes yes, the latter, always yes. I grew up with these girls, and guys. We did practically everything together. Some of my fondest memories are with them.

But I’ll make new memories with new friends…. life goes on. I’m so thankful for the friends that I do have here in Charlotte and the BFFs that I have sprinkled around. I’m grateful for the friends we have across the country who we may only see on occasion but are so special to us. I’m definitely more aware of who I spend time with and I try to avoid those one-sided relationships. I’m excited for us to continue building “our friends” as a couple and hope we get to spend lots of time with new and old friends in the coming years.

We always try when traveling to connect with friends wherever we are but sometimes schedules don’t work out. I love my new book club, and the Stella & Dot party I hosted was fun last year. I’d love to hear your tips for staying in touch with friends from all over! Where do you go, what do you do? Does anyone else have a goal to say “yes” to all the invites they get from friends?

What a week!

Last week was intense. We were so busy it felt like we only saw each other in passing. But I can happily say that big things are on the horizon for us! Luckily, this weekend we were able to regroup and spend time together now that the hubs is done with grad school til 2014 and we had no planned events to attend (and of course being stuck inside on Saturday voiceless and with a sore throat helped). So here’s a recap of LAST weekend and also a new recipe that left us licking our fingers!
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After spending the holiday with my family and finally getting our kitchen back in order, we spent Friday night watching the Bobcats play (but of course we were wearing our Hornets colors!). We even got cute toboggans for showing up early!
w3While Saturday marked the last day of November (and no-shave november for my husband), it was also the day that we had Fall photos taken with our city in the background. I love this one that our photographer shared from the back of her camera. A little late on the Christmas cards this year, but I am glad we will have these beauties in our home and on our family’s fridges.

w2Later we explored NoDa and met up with our friends to see Matrimony in concert at the Chop Shop. We had dinner at Revolution Ale House and stopped in the Crepe Cellar for some post-dinner drinks (coffee for this girl – who was yawning at 8 PM).

w4We capped off the weekend by picking out our first real Christmas tree together. I love starting new traditions with this guy – and this is one we will definitely continue. It’s all decorated, with a brand new tree skirt and colorfully wrapped presents beneath it now.

While it seemed like a busy weekend, it also seemed normal and calm for us. We’re at “that age” where every weekend holds something (most of the time that other people have planned), so it’s nice when we have a weekend at home where we can pick and choose what we do, hang out in pajamas if we want and curl up on Friday nights and watch a movie on our own couch instead of in a hotel room somewhere. We’re thankful for those moments, but also thankful to be blessed with so many friends and family members that we get to travel to see. We’re especially looking forward to all of the upcoming weddings we’ve been invited to – with a few more that I’m betting get added to the list (wink, wink):

Dec 21 – Pittsburgh, PA
April 26, – Nassau, Bahamas
May 4 – Austin, TX
May 17 – Wilmington, NC
June 6 – Baltimore, MD
June 7 – Blacksburg, VA
Sept 20- Winston-Salem, NC
Oct 11 – Charlotte, NC

Looks like 2014 is going to be a busy one for us! Even more reason to soak up our weekends at home!

Here’s last night’s dinner, which was delicious – my husband told me at least 3 times this morning that he couldn’t wait for lunch to eat the leftovers: Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas (click on the picture once there to go to the recipe)
buffalo chicken enchiladasThis was the perfect meal to accompany Sunday night football. When you want wings but would rather a real meal, go for the enchiladas. Yum!

Under the 50 day mark

We are under 50 days, folks! Time continues to fly by as we inch closer and closer to our wedding day. We were showered with love again last weekend by LW’s Aunt Jill (and other amazing family & friends). shower3shower 7shower1shopwer 8We got big news on Tuesday that our bands have arrived and are waiting to be picked up! Very exciting (unfortunately, our schedules have been crazy and we haven’t gone yet) – but I’m sure they are just as beautiful as the day we picked them out and I know for certain that I can’t wait to put a ring on it!
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We now have our transportation booked for the wedding, shuttle for the guests, car for us. One more thing to check off the list! We are finishing up our invitations and writing lots of thank you notes these days. I had my Bachelorette party this past weekend in Charleston & Folly Beach.
BP1 BP2 BP3 BP4 BP5 BP6 BP7BP10I had an incredible time with my most incredible friends. LW had his bachelor party several weeks ago, so no more bachelor time for us, we’re ready to run down the aisle now! 46 days and counting…

Happy Monday!

3 months and counting!

It’s hard to believe that we only have 3 itsy bitsy months left until our big day! For the most part, we are prepared, we have a few last minute things to do and a few that we will still likely be scrambling for in the coming weeks/months, but we’re feeling okay about it. This is our only weekend home this month, so we have big plans of finding wedding bands, figuring out vows, and getting the suits ordered for our handsome groomsmen.
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I had to share a few pictures from our DC wedding weekend with all of LW’s college friends. Everything about their day was completely perfect – from the weather to the venue to the outstanding pies and the brides custom dress. I loved every last detail!
langonewedding2It was such a fun wedding, too! The dancing that ensued was movie worthy at times. And of course, we were mentally note-taking for our own wedding – since the venues are somewhat similar and both ceremonies were/are planned for outside.
langonewedding1I do have to say that Jenny & Kevin have impeccable taste in music. We were thoroughly impressed by the choices for the important songs, but also the dance music as well. It literally was the perfect day for a wedding, and they had such a perfect wedding!
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Next up, Valerie and David get hitched 2 weeks before us. I know it will be a fun wedding and I can’t wait to celebrate with them in South Carolina!

And also, a big shout out to Amy & Clay today, one year from today they will be walking down the sandy aisle in Wrightsville Beach to say “I do.” I’m giddy just thinking about it!

Your wish is my command!

Now that I am a bride-to-be, I understand all the things brides don’t want to hear. Griping. Complaints about dresses/shoes/jewelry. Anything negative that’s directed at YOUR wedding. Thankfully, I have incredible friends and bridesmaids who have all said “whatever you want!” (I seriously love them!)

We are getting ready to place the order for our J. Crew bridesmaid dresses and I couldn’t be happier. I LOVE that my bridesmaids and I will be wearing J. Crew on my big day. Their dresses are just SO classy! And can definitely be worn again, right? I know everyone says that but I really believe it with J. Crew. They are very versatile and who doesn’t love to dress up fancy for a night out? I truly did want to find a dress that they would be comfortable in, loved, and could potentially use again. Maybe not as a “wear every-other week” dress or “wear to work” dress, but something that could be reworn to an event later on.
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For a while I was torn between the J. Crew ones and Alfred Sung styles (pictured above) – but ultimately, the girls picked the J. Crew ones. They’re going to look so stunning! Color and styles will remain secret – until the big day of course! Both J. Crew and Alfred Sung offered FREE sample swatches – which helped us decide the color. We had a very specific look in our minds, so it was easy for us to decide the color.
I have yet to book the florist (or even call any)… and time is ticking. But I did get this really adorable stamp for our post-wedding thank-you notes!

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Wedding Paper Divas has a 50% off deal on their stamps today – check it out and order one! Great deal for brides-to-be, single folks and those of you that have already tied the knot! Something you can use long after the thank you notes are written and you’re on your way to growing old together!

Lucky in Love

Sometimes I have to stop and pinch myself and wonder how we got so lucky! I know I keep saying it, but we really are blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people in this time and to be showered with so much love!

I’d really like to thank our friends and family for being so incredibly wonderful and constantly volunteering to help or sending us sweet ideas. We are definitely lucky!

Happy Friday!